Restricted Release today confirms October 26 as the North American release date for Heavy Metal Thunder, a special reissue package from England’s VIKING SKULL. Remastered and featuring all new artwork, Heavy Metal Thunder combines the band’s popular debut album, Born In Hell, and the Chapter One EP, both previously unavailable through proper American and Canadian retail outlets. The album also includes five bonus songs and will precede a new, still untitled EP planned for release in early 2011.
VIKING SKULL, featuring vocalist/guitarist Roddy Stone, guitarists Dom Wallace and Frank Regan, bassist Kevin Waldie, with sole-American drummer Jess Margera (CKY, The Company Band), found initial American interest when the song “Skull Heaven” appeared on volume one of Bam Margera’s Viva La Bands compilation series in 2005. A second song, “Blackened Sunrise” would follow on volume two in 2007. Early fans would have to wait until the winter of 2008, however, to witness their first Skull show; the band finally landing on US shores to share the stage on a short east coast tour with Clutch.
Stone recalls,”our tour with Clutch was the first time for us playing the states. It quickly became quite clear to us that America loves big riffs through big amps and that’s what we’re about. No fancy hair cuts, eye liner, or spooky clothes, just balls out, meat and potatoes heavy rock. That tour was one of the best we’ve done in terms of crowd reaction, and on top of that we got to see Clutch every night.”
Heavy Metal Thunder comes nearly two years to the day after the release of Doom, Gloom, Heartache & Whiskey (Powerage); an album that was embraced by international media on its release in 2008. “Genuinely fantastic rock ‘n roll,” asserts Kerrang! “Whiskey-swigging, bar-room-brawling, southern-baked hard rock and metal,” said Blabbermouth. It was MetalSucks that most aptly described the band’s sound noting, “if you take a foundation built on Black Sabbath, add the support structure of Thin Lizzy, wall it up with a thick layer of Motorhead, and retrofit the whole package with the likes of Orange Goblin, this is the house VIKING SKULL has built.”
“We tend to think, if it ain’t broke don’t try and fix it,” notes Stone about the band’s straight-forward heavy metal anthems. “We like to think back to the day when men were men, and amps where amps. The time when having a good riff/song was important and had nothing to do with posing, we’re a proper band with proper tunes..”
It was 2002 when assorted members of England’s Raging Speedhorn and crew faced the very sobering notion that their daily offering of free booze would dry up whilst not on tour. So for founding members Stone, Waldie, and Regan, the lure of a free pint was enough to encourage them to form a band. In quick time, VIKING SKULL was recording and enjoying non-stop touring (European runs with HIM, Dio, CKY and others) when one memorable evening things came to an abrupt halt. In what can only be recalled as a drop-down, all out battle (fueled by lots, and lots of absinthe unfortunately supplied by then simply friend Jess Margera) the ‘Skull’s outer edges fried and the Northamptonshire-based band broke up. Later finding out what had happened Margera offered up his services and within short time wounds healed and VIKING SKULL was back.
Heavy Metal Thunder Tracklisting:
1. Beers, Drugs And Bitches
2. Wizard’s Sleeve
4. Rape Pillage And Burn
5. Crazy Trucker
6. Skull Heaven
7. Born In Hell
8. Crank The Volume
9. Red Hot Woman
11. Heavy Metal Thunder
12. Saddle Up
13. Double Or Quits (Demo Version)
14. Rock And Roll Suicide
15. Conquer The World
16. Baby Let Me Know
17. Skulls & Whiskey
18. Dirty Dirty Hole,
19. Inject My Woman (With Love)
20. You Can’t Kill Rock & Roll
VIKING SKULL are set to announce new tour dates for the UK late autumn/early winter and are in discussions for their return to US shores.